Op-Ed: The real value of long term weather forecast
The real TV watcher I am definitely not, nor do I bank on TV when it comes to knowing real news. But there's one thing that we all want to know once in a while. It's the long term weather forecast and its real value.
What kind of weather is in a day we all know by looking out of the window. In many cases we don't really care unless there's something very important. But all of us make plans sometimes and some of us do it more often than others. We want to know what kind of weather will be, let's say, in 10 days.
Then we open the weather channel on TV and here in Canada, apart from local weather news, we have national The Weather Network backed up with the newest technology that's now involved in many weather monitor stations everywhere. We try to find out what the weather will be on Canada Day, for example. I start my test when it's June 21st and the Canada Day is 10 days ahead.
Well, looks good, we say and make some plans. I have no idea whatsoever why nobody questions these all curves and collection of data and everything else that contributes to the weather 10 days ahead. It looks even better with more warm days in early July.
Then we have June 22nd and another forecast and we are happy about consistency of predictions from the day before. Most importantly, nobody ask questions about pretty sharp increase of temperature around June 30th - July 1st and sharp drop afterwards. Canada Day looks great anyway so we are happy.
Another day passed and we are surprised that local TV weather experts (Mark Madryga, Wayne Cox or Claire Martin) almost copy this pattern from The Weather Network and paste it to local folks. Nobody takes any responsibility for the accuracy of this kind of information.
It's Monday, 25th of June and something changed. We would prefer shifting Canada Day 2-3 days later, do we want? No, we don't. Still no explanations of what happened, nobody explains what helps shape the weather in the area like Vancouver and how it all impacts the weather forecast.
Now our Canada Day plans look rainy and pretty cold, supposed to be in high 20's, now it's around 15. But hey, we have a few days to go. We would prefer having the long weekend a week later.
Well, no sunny plans at all, even a week after. What happened to the temperature curves? Everybody knows how unpredictable weather may be but has anybody ever explained why it all is happening? Everybody from weather celebrities have lots of words to tell and smiles and minutes they spent on TV that have nothing to do with that kind of accuracy.
I mean, we all have to plan and have the right to know what's going to happen but the real value of long term weather forecast seems completely useless for some 10 days ahead.
Why TV weather anchors still insist doing this?
The series of screen shots were taken from The Weather Network over the period of a week in all consecutive days.